Posting on a social channel without a content strategy? That’s the equivalent of learning to run before you can walk.
“What should I post on Instagram?”
“Should I be cross-posting content on Linkedin and Facebook?”
I’ve heard these questions multiple times and here’s few tips I’ve learned over the past couple of years. Step one is to define a social media marketing plan. If that has already been done and a channel strategy has been put in place, you’ll need to move onto developing a content strategy unique to your brand.
1. Understanding Your Target Market
From a business and commercial perspective, it is important to understand the demographics and behaviours of your target market. This includes key factors from age, gender, geographical location, income and more.
The clearer the details are, the more targeted your content strategy can be. Look into the behaviours of your audience to understand the type of content that would engage them. What topics are they interested in? Are there trends relevant to your brand?
2. What Content Are Your Competitors Posting?
Analyse the daily content posted by your competitors, as well as key industry players. This gives you an idea of what works, what doesn’t work and what’s missing.
Doing this research will also help in finding a USP for your brand’s social media channel. What else can you share that no one is currently posting?
3. Strategising Content Pillars
Now that you’ve understood the interests of your target market, along with the content that competitors and industry players are posting, you can move onto the next step of your content strategy. Strategising content pillars is important as it sets the foundation of your social channel, allowing you to curate content that is unique to your brand.
Here are some examples:
This content pillar from Everyday Humans could either be a Customer Feature or, a Product Feature which happens to be a review from a consumer. It is particularly important for brands to highlight the features of your products, or details of your services, to regularly drive the benefits to your followers.
A common pillar for sporting events and teams is to highlight Breaking News or Event / Team Updates. Seen here, F1‘s Instagram is usually one of the first channels to release timely information on anything and everything related to the motorsport.
Amazon shares it’s Employee Features and Sustainability Efforts quite regularly on their Linkedin profile. This provides potential and current employees with an update on organisational efforts and insight to the company values.
Based on the commercial and marketing objectives of your brand, the content strategy should emulate these same goals on social channels. As such, the content pillars that you form will guide the content manager in creating social posts more effectively.
4. Exploring Content Types
Video content is here to stay so if your budget allows for it, try incorporating a variation of short and long-form videos into your content strategy. Play around with carousel posts as well – it’s one of my favourite ways to tell a quick story or drive a point across.
5. Running a Content Calendar
At the end of the day, you (or your team) should be running your social channels like a well-oiled machine. Similar to how editorial teams plan their content with a calendar, the social media manager should practice the same.
This allows for clarity on all content scheduled and/or upcoming across all social channels as well as:
- Key events taking place in the near future (e.g. a week long social campaign around 12.12 sales for your brand)
- Key campaigns that require pre-planning for content production (e.g. a YouTube series)
- Influencer campaigns that require daily monitoring and engagement
There are a couple of social tools that provide a content scheduler, but I’m one that prefers to stick to a social calendar built on Microsoft Excel, or even better – Google Sheets. This way, I can completely customise the calendar to include columns for content pillars, asset links, copy for posts, status of content (scheduled, edits required, posted) and more. Google Sheets is also great for collaborating and I can tag a designer for edits required, or tag a team manager for content review.